- Associated Press - Friday, June 26, 2015

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said Thursday that incorrect allegations about his own campaign finances show there are flaws in the state’s reporting process.

“I am very concerned about the integrity of the data and records at the Secretary of State’s Office, and I’m also very concerned that other candidates may have been falsely accused as well,” Balderas said

Secretary of State Dianna Duran told Balderas this week that he submitted three late campaign finance reports a few years ago, the Albuquerque Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1dm5EXz ). According to her office’s records, Balderas, who was state auditor at the time, sent a report due in April 2011 several months late. Duran said if the fines had been mandatory back then, he would owe $5,000.

The dispute is the latest wrinkle in a growing rift between the Democratic attorney general and the Republican secretary of state over enforcement of campaign finance reporting. Both of their offices formed a joint task force in February.

But Balderas said she was wrong about two of the reports. He provided the Journal with copies of his campaign’s emailed submission of the report dated April 11, 2011, and an acknowledgement from the Secretary of State’s Office on that day. However, Duran said she had told candidates the electronic filing system wouldn’t be working.

Duran said a second report due on Oct. 8, 2012 was one day late. But Balderas has a letter from her office that states candidates’ reports are not due until Oct. 9 because of the Columbus Day holiday.

A spokesman for Duran says she had been relying on inaccurate information from an employee when she cited Balderas.

Last week, Balderas came out with a list of recommended improvements. Among them were making all violation fines mandatory again, having a better system for tracking enforcement and having candidates work with a training officer.

In a letter addressed to Balderas on Tuesday, Duran called his recommendations insufficient and said she was “somewhat disappointed” in them. She said mandatory penalties should be decided by the state Legislature.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com

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